IK Multimedia Amplitube 3 Review

When I first heard that there was going to be a new AmpliTube 3 I thought “How can you beat AmpliTube Fender?”. Now after spending a bit of time with it I can say they didn’t. They more than raised the bar with AmpliTube 3 and maybe even improved it. From presets, CPU handling and the sound quality they went above and beyond with this release. They poised it to be the new standard not only in guitar amp and effect modeling, but as a whole new platform! Sound-wise it rocks. I have been blown away by AmpliTube before, the first time I played it I closed my eyes and smiled. Well, I get that same dynamic and open feel here, but now I get Orange, Vox, Mesa Boogie models and STEREO in and out! I can go on forever about the things that excite me in it but lets start at the beginning…

AmpliTube 3 is the biggest collection of amps and effects released yet with over 160 pieces accurately modeled! 30 of these are new amps and effects, everything that was there before has been reworked to sound a lot better than they did before. I could not believe the sound I was getting when browsing through the old AmpliTube 2 presets I didn’t like. It brought a whole new sound to what they had before! When looking through previous versions of AmpliTube I always hated how you had to browse through presets. Click, arrow, arrow, arrow again if you had a lot of presets and then wait til yours came up. With AmpliTube 3 there is a new preset manager that makes this easier than ever! They have also taken a nod from their workstation series and made AmpliTube 3 able to open ANY of the other AmpliTube’s amps, effects or presets! Now I don’t have to load up every AmpliTube to see which sound I want to record with – I can do it all INSIDE of AmpliTube 3!!!

One of the biggest changes in AmpliTube 3 besides the sound is the way it manages the computer’s processing power. AmpliTube 3 now includes 3 three buttons on the top right. They are ECO, MID, & and HI and each mode can help save CPU power when using high track counts or on slower computers! In previous versions, you had to go into the preferences for each AmpliTube and select what was oversampled and what wasn’t. Well now you just click a button and you’re done! Of course they still allow you to edit all of that in preferences but I find that the ECO/MID/HI buttons do a fine job. Now a lot of people are thinking “Why would you need to run more than one guitar gear modeler?”. Remember when I was all geeked out about STEREO in and out? Yeah you’re getting it now aren’t you? You can use AmpliTube 3 and all of its great new amps and effects on anything you want now! One of my mix secrets is taking the reverbs from AmpliTube Fender and using them on vocals and drums but I hated that it wasn’t true stereo…Oh wait, now it is! Even better yet for all the producers out there you can use the Step Slicer as an effect on synths and keys for that gated trance sound and it automatically locks on to the project tempo you’re working on! One thing AmpliTube 3 has mastered that I hate about other DAWs is how they handle effects. When you choose a distortion for example followed by a delay. If you want to add another distortion before the delay have to delete it, insert new effect and then reinsert the delay after it and recall your settings. Not in AmpliTube 3! Drag and drop anything wherever you want it! They really outdid themselves with that feature alone! Just taking into account the vast number of effects in AmpliTube 3 makes this a no brainer for normal production and mix duties!

Now in all of the update I love one thing I never fancied about AmpliTube 2 but (which never bothered me at the same time) was – the bass amps. I mean I have IK Multimedia’s Ampeg SVX and I loved that sound on just about any song for bass. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke right? Wrong. They have brought HEAT with the new bass amps in AmpliTube 3! This is the first time I have used ANYTHING besides Ampeg SVX and been more than happy with it! I brought in a session bass player and pulled up the Phat Vintage Bass preset and was blown away. It really is a gift and a curse now – I don’t know which one sounds better! Comparing two sounds from different AmpliTube releases is easy too now that we are able to load the different presets inside of AmpliTube 3‘s new preset manager! Also Another new thing is the way you can mic up amps,. You can now choose 2 different mics and move them around independently of each other and move them around in the room to really fine tune the amp/mic/room sweet spot!

Last but not least we have the standalone version. Usually I don’t use the standalone versions of AmpliTube to often but when I opened up AmpliTube 3 I was in for a nice surprise! They added a feature packed 4 track recorder! Now I know what your thinking, “I have a full featured DAW! Why would I want a simple 4 track recorder!?” Well this isn’t just ANY 4 track recorder, this is the most feature packed 4 track you’ll ever use! Not only can you use independent pitch-shift/time-stretch on each track but you can use the effects within AmpliTube 3 on these tracks! Get out basic song ideas out quick in record time! There are also Stealth Pedal and Stealth board control features to assign pedal controllers on the fly! Small additions like this really make this release IK’s best yet!

Seems like the good folks over at IK Multimedia keep me surprised and happy with all the stuff they have been releasing lately! With their attention to detail in the features, sound, and even looks on AmpliTube 3 this is sure to be a hit! From jamming out with headphones playing new Orange, Vox and Mesa models to recording quick ideas on the fly AmpliTube 3 has got it. Learning new songs and need to slow down leads to learn them? AmpliTube 3 has got it. Recording in an apartment and need quality top notch amp and effect selection? AmpliTube 3 has got what it takes to turn your computer into a world class studio with the best mics, amps and effects available to man! You can not go wrong with IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube 3 whether you are a guitarist, bassist, producer or engineer. AmpliTube 3 belongs in your collection.

IK Multimedia Amplitube 3

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